Local Laureates Assemble in Support of August Boeger Career Day


“Now, on the road to freedom, I was pausing for a moment near Temuco and could hear the voice of the water that had taught me…” Pablo Neruda

Nestled at the base of the East Foothills of San Jose, in the Mount Pleasant Elementary School District, resides August Boeger Middle School. On Thursday, April 2nd, there was an event that drew together a cosmopolitan group of dignitaries who served as diplomats of Silicon Valley success, presenting to the group of more than 600 students in attendance.

photo 1The event would have pleased even Neruda himself, as professionals and university laureates mingled with the students, and shared their diverse backgrounds and career aspirations undaunted. Speakers presented in break out rooms of approximately 30 students. Among the notable professionals were graduates of Harvard, Santa Clara, and San Jose State University. In addition, the fair featured dignitaries from Google, IBM, Dreamworks, the Peace Corps, as well as, Alex Ontiveros of Silicon Valley Latino.

August Boeger’s Student Advisor, Mr. Donati, stated, “We want to provide our students with a glimpse into their perspective futures, allowing them direct access to the many possibilities and opportunities that exist for them, here, in the Silicon Valley, from the professionals who have done it.”

August Boeger Middle School serves a diverse student population that is approximately 75% Latino, and offers a rigorous curriculum embedded in 21st century learning skills.  With a talented and collaborative staff, they combine ability and passion to engage all students in learning that is designed to make students college and career ready. Educators guide students through PBLs, or Project Based Learning Units. These PBL’s allow students to actively learn about a subject through the experience of problem solving. Students develop skills in communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Boeger also boasts an AVID program that is well respected, and has connections to Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and San Jose State University. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a global program dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities.

As Neruda so eloquently stated, “It was passed from one bird to another…” so too, was this day for the dedicated students, professionals, and community of August Boeger Middle School.

For more information on August Boeger Middle School, please check out their website at:



Conexion – High School Career Fair @ LCPA


Cisco’s Conexion spearheads another successful career fair at the Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, CA.

On Friday March 13th over 100 high school students and professionals gathered as Conexion and the Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) produced another successful career fair. The day started with a warm welcome by Conexion San Jose Chapter Director of Talent Pipeline Jessica Ruvalcaba (Americas Channel Marketing Manager at Cisco).

She then introduced Jose Lazares Jr., Sr. Director of Business Development Application Integration Solutions Group at Cisco. Mr. Lazares delivered an open, honest and passionate keynote where he talked about his non-traditional route to corporate success in the tech arena. His authentic messages of determination and perseverance truly kept the audience of high school juniors and seniors engaged. It was impressive to hear his narrative of how he consistently overcame obstacles through his journey and it was also refreshing to see how well the students responded to his candid candor. Silicon Valley Latino was able to conduct a brief interview with Jose at the conclusion of his remarks, we will be bring one that to our audiences soon.

After the keynote, the students were broken-up into a couple of different groups where they either participated in a mock interview or career group discussion. Conexion and Silicon Valley Latino sent out invitations to several groups in an effort to engage them to participate in this special event.

We were delighted to see that many Silicon Valley Latino “Cultura Ambassadors” conduct the mock interviews and career group discussions. This empowerment event certainly resonates with Silicon Valley Latino’s own mission and that is why we decided to roll up our sleeves and assist Conexion and the LCPA in the production of this worthy cause. We would also like to thank many of the collaborators who made this special day possible starting with the planning committee and Cisco’ Conexion, Jessica Ruvalcaba ( Conexion San Jose Chapter co-lead), Esmeralda Barriga Gonzalez (Conexion San Jose Chapter co-lead), Raul Lomeli (LCPA Director), Saira Canales (LCPA Head Counselor), Jorge Calixto (Cisco) , Jessica Graham (Cisco), Paula Garcia (Cisco) and Alex Ontiveros (Silicon Valley Latino) as well as Keynote Speaker Jose Lazares Jr. and the event video production crew Robert Alvarez and Samantha Franco of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA).
Silicon Valley Latino was also proud support as the event’s media sponsor.


SVL’s Inaugural Inspire Higher Tour 2015


Silicon Valley Latino takes a proactive approach to engaging, empowering and inspiring Latino high school students while also addressing the lack of diversity in tech issue.

As is stated in the company’s vision statement, Silicon Valley Latino is committed to engaging, educating and inspiring the new generation of Latino heroes. With this commitment in mind, Silicon Valley Latino decided to create an initiative where Latino professionals from the STEAM fields would engage and ultimately inspire Latino high schools through a newly created program, the “Inspire Higher Tour.” The “Inspire Higher Tour” is a high touch/high impact component within the Inspire Higher Initiative and it’s comprised of a touring and rotating panel of Latino professionals visiting numerous schools where the student body is predominantly Latino and/or students of color.

10835157_902604943105874_7980071187313040070_oThroughout the tour these STEAM Latino professionals will be sharing their stories via various moderated panel discussions within high school campus settings, creating a direct dialogue and impact with students. The end goal is to inspire Latino youth throughout Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area to engage and prepare for careers in STEAM while also helping fill the pipeline for the future Latino workforce. Silicon Valley Latino is optimistic that this initiative will eventually aid in minimizing the well publicized diversity gap in the tech sector.

Alex Ontiveros, Founder & CEO of Silicon Valley Latino was impressed with the newly launched Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA). Specifically, Ontiveros appreciated LVLA’s committed to providing a rigorous academic program designed to instill a lifelong passion for learning and its desire to equip students with the skills for social and academic success at four-year colleges and universities as well as local community colleges. Alex was also impressed with the school’s emphasis on visual and performing arts, digital media and its culturally sustaining pedagogy. LVLA’s goal is to graduate empowered young adults who are poised, confident, and articulate leaders. Through a focus on the Spanish language, for both native speakers and learners, LVLA students will use their education, bi-literacy and life experiences to create positive change in their lives, their families and within their communities. Alex was truly impressed with this comprehensive approach to education and contacted the school’s ambitious and confident director, Jeff Camarillo, about hosting the inaugural Inspire Higher panel discussion.

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2015

On January 23rd, the inaugural Inspire Higher panel was indeed hosted by the LVLA and its inaugural freshmen class. Silicon Valley Latino knew that this tour needed to get off to a great start, so it carefully selected a group of high hitting and high impact panelist. This inaugural panel included the following STEAM Rock Stars, Guillermo Diaz Jr., Sr. VP of IT at Cisco, Laura I. Gomez, tech entrepreneur and founder of Atipica, Ivan Reyes, Director of Digital Media & Culture at MACLA and Julissa Ramirez Lebron, Industrial Engineer and rising star at Intel Corporation. The panelists were on point with their authenticity and messages of perseverance, focus and commitment while the audience was an enthusiastic and eager interactive group of 97 students from LVLA ‘s debut freshmen class. The panelists hit a homerun as they were engaging and inspiring and the students were attentive and eager to speak to the panelist at the conclusion of the moderated Q&A.

“Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher tour is an empowering and culturally resonating experience for the youth of East San Jose!  Many of my students were deeply moved by the stories of the four panelists.  For my freshman, the panelists’ stories further reinforced that through education all dreams are attainable!  Thank you Silicon Valley Latino for making LVLA your first stop on this much needed and important tour.” Jeff Camarillo.

“Sharing a panel amongst champions who have proven true leadership is always a pleasure, but seeing some youth eager and determined to be in our position is beyond exciting.” Ivan Reyes

I believe in you Silicon Valley Latino, I believe in our youth, I believe in our community and I believe in the Inspire Higher Tour” Guillermo Diaz Jr.

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2015

At the end of the day, the Inspire Higher Tour was a huge success. Clearly from a “supply and demand” perspective, the demand is in place. We have tapped into a community of students that are eager to be inspired, fueled by a strong supply of highly accomplished and inspiring Latino professionals. SVL, LVLA and the panelists were very pleased with the tour’s first stop and Silicon Valley Latino is eager to conduct several more in Silicon Valley this Spring Semester. Stay tuned for more updates as the Inspire Higher Tour makes its rounds!


If you are interested in hosting an Inspire Higher Tour event at your school please reach out to us.






Luis Valdez Leadership Academy Photos


Silicon Valley Latino joined the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy as they celebrated SIX months of school without a single fight, suspension or expulsion!

The students were rewarded with a BBQ of carne asada and links, the students danced & listened to music of all types as well as enjoyed the special community that they have created.

It truly was a beautiful and inspiring sight to see and a beautiful cause to celebrate!

Luis Valdez Leadership Academy

On January 23rd, the inaugural Inspire Higher panel was indeed hosted by the LVLA and its inaugural freshmen class. Silicon Valley Latino knew that this tour needed to get off to a great start, so it carefully selected a group of high hitting and high impact panelist.

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